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Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam Make Family's Christmas, Pay Off Another's Medical Bills

by Ryan Middleton   Dec 28, 2016 16:00 PM EST

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Santa may live at the North Pole year-round, but he may have briefly moved to Chicago and become a huge Cubs fan. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder surprised a family with a $10,000 donation after a mother of six's Craigslist plea went viral. She had no money for presents and was facing eviction. The good deeds didn't stop there for Vedder and the band. Pearl Jam donated $70,000 to help pay for the medical bills of the father of a family who saved Vedder's life after a boating accident in Hawaii 15 years ago.

The first incident, Vedder saw a Washington Post story about a mother, Tyshika Britton, who was asking for any help in giving her six children presents for Christmas.

"I was just so moved by the story and what this mother did for her children," Vedder told the Washington Post Sunday. "I thought those kids must be so proud of their mother for reaching out. That takes a lot of courage."

Vedder added that the story reminded him of his own childhood. "There were years there were toys from Santa, but they were used and they came from garage sales and they didn't always work." He donated $10,000 to Britton and her family, who has now become fans of the band.

The second act of kindness is one that comes full circle on Vedder's life. 15 years ago Vedder was in a boating accident in Hawaii where he and two women were stranded in the water, forced to tread with their paddles until help could come. Luckily for him, Ashley Baxter and her father Keith were boating nearby, heard their cries, found the three individuals and rescued them.

Fast forward 15 years later where Keith, the father, was in a nasty boating accident of his own where a rusty boat anchor nearly cut his leg off at the calf. It didn't cut his leg off, but it did leave him with a bad infection. In a chance encounter, Ashley ran into one of the women who they rescued over a decade ago and the woman decided to set up a gofundme to help pay for medical bills.

It raised $70,000 and Pearl Jam decided to match that amount with another $70,000.

"Yes, it's all true," Baxter's wife, Karen, told The Inertia via email. "Pearl Jam (Eddie, Stone, Jeff, Mike, and Matt) matched what was originally raised ($70K) through Gofundme.com."

The incident 15 years ago inspired the song "Future Days," and this shows that good deeds don't go unnoticed.

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